Trinity arrived at my home on May 21st, 2018 and together we shared a great many ups and downs during her journey. She brought great joy and tears to my eyes watching her go from struggling to stand on 3 fractured legs to running in the plush grass chasing her new human siblings.
Discarded. Broken. Racked with Illness. Trinity was the 18 lb, 6-month-old female puppy with the sad brown eyes and unbelievable pain threshold. WARRIOR came to mind looking in those same eyes as I held her for the first time. Trinity wanted to live, she has the fight and a determination, unlike anything I had witnessed in dogs prior. K9 Enrichment Initiative has had its share of critically injured dogs, but this dog didn’t need to be encouraged to fight for her life, she was telling us that’s how she rolled.
Trinity underwent 3 surgeries to repair the 3 fractures, long tedious work was needed on the hind right leg. Her vet, Dr. Adam Conroy, declared it was going to be “difficult” and “tricky”. We all kept positive thoughts and held our breath as we waited to see if the plates would stick.
Not more than 5 days following surgery did the front leg fracture a second time and surgery was needed to reset it again. Then 3 days later, she showed no pain as she attempted to stand and a cast fell off the leg; frightened her then foster Mom enough for us to rush her to the ER at 1 am.
The next day brought a visit to the Veterinary Speciality Center in the early AM and she underwent yet another surgery to replace the plate in her hind leg by 7 pm that evening.
By morning, Trinity was standing and taking steps when I arrived to pick her up. No more casts, just a splint on the front leg to aid in healing and a harness to aid her walking. The journey had just begun.
Trinity needed around the clock care to ensure she ate, drank, relieved herself and did NOT get up and walk. I slept on a mattress next to her crate alongside my two dogs watching over her. Made it far easier to do potty breaks throughout the night and Trinity was a quick learner.
We began walking 3 minutes the first day, three times per day for 3 days, then upped the minutes to 5, 8, 11, 15, and so on until she could walk for 45 minutes without stopping for a break. I needed a break, it was the middle of the summer; but not her. She loved circling the block taking in life.
I kept a chart on my refrigerator to track the work we did and darn if this dog didn’t progress right on schedule. I had to stop her from wanting to take off running once she got the hang of using the front leg splint.
We would practice going up and down the front porch step, stretching the legs and massaging them at night using CBD oil along the sutures. Still unable to have a bath since the moment she arrived, I wiped her down nightly in an attempt to keep her from stinking. I think she found it funny being called “Stinky” and would be gracious sometimes in letting me clean her.
She refused to take pills and would spit them right back at me. She wouldn’t be tricked into taking them hidden in peanut butter, cheese, hot dogs, meatballs, or wet dog food, the list went on and on. Each time for medication became a battle of me shoving them down her throat and her spitting up on me.
Weekly trips to the vet for 5 weeks to have the front leg bandages changed and the sutures examined. Then came the big moment, splint and sutures removed, her walking 45 minutes twice a day to build muscle meant it was time for radiographs to check the plates and healing bones.
What a beautiful August day, the 29th was when her surgeon walked back into the room and told us, “They are perfect, let Trinity start to be a dog again”.
It was then I admitted that in the prior month, Trinity climbed on top of her crate and jumped over the 42″ high x pen wall to escape. I asked her surgeon if she meant “a dog like that?”
Trinity went to therapy sessions, she could already pass all the tests. She could stand on a balancing board and surf. She had no issues going up or coming down the stairs, my home has 3 sets of 6 she repeatedly used daily. She could step over the poles and weave through the cones, she was a rockstar.
The search was now on for the perfect family who would love her for all her quirks if you can call bull-headed, a quirk.
A young mother and 10-year-old twin daughters came out to the ball game at Slammer’s Park in Joliet to meet Trinity after having read about her on our page. The young girls spent 20 minutes petting her gently, Trinity ate up the attention.
In September, I had a conference to attend out of town and needed a sitter for Trinity. This family agreed to watch her for 3 days. Trinity drove them crazy with her antics and the Mom said she didn’t think they would be able to take on fostering her.
October rolled around and I needed a sitter again, I begged and Mom agreed Trinity could spend another 3 days with them as she already knew them and their home. Trinity worked her magic and again drove the Mom crazy with her behavior. I had a talk with Trin that this was not the way to make friends and influence people.
But this time, two days later in speaking with her future Mom about the cons and pro’s I needed to know about Trinity when she wasn’t with me; she asked if Trinity could come back and give it a real go. They would agree to foster her for at least 3 weeks and then make a decision.
Trinity moved in, began working with a trainer and slowly over time she agreed to let Grandma in the home. Grandpa is still struggling, but she is getting better. She also improved in allowing the grandparent’s dog to come over and go for walks with her. Trinity loved playing with her foster siblings and fellow rescue dogs, but she was being Trinity the brat with her new pal Layla.
When I visited in November, Trinity no longer clung to me, instead she followed the girls about the house, checking in to say hello. She had gained weight, she took her medications & supplements with a finger of peanut butter, hassle-free. She still battled putting on her winter coat but improvement had been made. We bought her a metal leash as she proved she could bite through the nylon ones in a matter of seconds once in her mouth. Trinity killed 6 nylon leads during her stay with me during the 5 months. A rescue record for destroyed leads by one dog.
She celebrated her 1st birthday with a cake and presents, had a sleepover with her sisters in one of their rooms, she destroys every new stuffy toy she gets and now can be trusted to sit nicely on the sofa next to Mom without biting the sofa. She still hops around dancing like a jackrabbit, jumping like a kangaroo and living up to her nicknames “tippy toes” and “crazy legs”.
On December 18th, Trinity put paw to paper and adopted her new family. I shed tears of sadness as she will always hold a special place in my heart, how can she not, she taught me a great deal about not giving up; but also tears of joy knowing we had found the perfect match for her in this loving, gentle family where she no longer has to be a Warrior Princess and can just be a princess.
Trinity would not have been afforded the top-notch medical care if it were not for the generosity of over 430 donors to her fund. When it was said and done, Trinity’s total care for surgery, medications, vet follow up appointments, radiographs, supplements, supplies, and therapy came to around $9,000.00 dollars.
I know in my heart, it was money well spent on a warrior dog who wanted to live life to the fullest and now has a young family to share that life.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from my rescue teams and two very happy twin girls who have the “best dog” in the whole world.
People have asked about the excess funds raised for Trinity and we are happy to say that the money was put towards saving Kyla Grace who was run over by a vehicle, tearing off her front limb and crushing her femur head in her hind leg detaching it from her hip. Kyla underwent surgery at Veterinary Specialty Center and followed the same strict recovery as Trinity, just not as lengthy.
Kyla Grace was adopted by her foster family after she was given the all clear in September. She is a very active tripod with two male canine siblings and her parents who adore her with all their hearts.
Funds were also used for the rehabilitation of Ivy April who had been shot in the hind leg and beaten over the head with a beer bottle. Ivy’s leg was saved, surgery closed the tear in the skin across her head. You would never know her leg was fractured by a bullet or her head cut open. Her orthopedic specialist called her “his miracle pup”. Ivy April is scheduled for adoption next week.
Three dogs whose lives would have ended at the shelter were given their second chance by receiving critical medical care. You may have donated to Trinity, but in the end, you saved 3 lives. We applaud your caring hearts and generosity.
Thank you to St. Francis CARE for transferring & transporting Trinity to us in allowing her to have that second chance. To Sally Brusveen for transporting Trinity the last 3 hours on that first night. To Dr. Adam Conroy & Staff for your skills and care provided to Trinity at South Elgin Animal Clinic. To Premier Veterinary for their emergency care of Trinity and their orthopedic department for Ivy April’s care. To Veterinary Speciality Center for their skilled surgeons and the work, they performed on Trinity Grace and Kyla Grace. To Dr. Simon of Minooka Animal Hospital for Trinity’s follow up care and bandage changes. To Carol Jurca and her staff at Canine Physical Rehab for their work with Trinity and Kyla. Thank you to KEI’s tribe of Jeanne Patinka, Asst. Director of K9 Enrichment Initiative, volunteers Becka Tatooles, Mark Kemp and Jessica Quintanar. A special thanks to Trinity’s champion, Melissa Rock, “Pudge’s Mom”.
To Heather and daughters, Lily and Abby, thank you for loving our girl as much we all do. Trinity, “live the good life, you worked for it. Thanks for giving us a second chance at showing you, humans are kind. Love always your rescue Mama.”
You didn’t mention that after initially contacting a dozen veterinarians, Dr. Adam Conroy from Animal Care Clinic in S. Elgin, IL is the only veterinarian who offered to do all surgeries free of charge. Trinity also had a lengthy stay at the clinic and was not charged. Many people came in to the clinic and made donations. I thank Dr Conroy and Animal Care Clinic for fulfilling their oath to do no harm and to help the smallest of those in need.
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Marsha, we did thank Dr. Conroy and the Animal Care Clinic in S. Elgin for the care they provided during Trinity’s time there. We appreciated Dr. Conroy waiving his personal cost to perform the surgery, this brought the cost down considerable to $2000. The cost of the metal plates, drugs, his surgical staff time. WGN news reported the surgery was free and despite us saying otherwise did not correct their error. We did not expect Dr. Conroy to perform the surgery for free, we were looking for a vet who would help us at a reduced rate and work out a payment plan. In no way does this take away from the good doctor’s heart or the work he did to repair Trinity’s fractures. In fact, we continue to use Dr. Conroy and his associated vet hospitals. Trinity is in the care of the Millbrook Animal Care Clinic in Geneva where she lives with her family and went under their care for allergies.
Following one of the back plates failing while at the hospital, she had to undergo surgery again, replacing the plates. Then 2 days after being released to our care, the other rear leg plates failed and we were advised by Dr. Conroy to take her to Veterinary Speciality Center where she then received surgery to repair the leg’s plates and reset the front leg with a splint. Dr. Conroy was a rock of support during this very trying time when we just wanted to have Trinity on the path of healing and didn’t know where to turn. As he told me on the phone as I sat waiting at VSC “He will always be TeamTrinity and wanted to ensure she was getting what she needed.” He took the time to consult with Dr. Robbins pre-surgery and then to follow up with me personally after the surgery. When it was all said and done, his office charged us far less than the $2000, as donations were already applied to her bill by generous donors.
We invited Dr. Conroy to be at the baseball event with Trinity when she took the field and tossed out the first pitch showing everyone she was healed. Unfortunately, he had a family function to attend and could not be there that day with her.
Thanks to the generous online donations to Trinity’s care, we were able to cover her surgeries, a variety of radiographs, therapy equipment, medicine, 6 weeks of vet appointments for splint changes, laser therapy sessions, food, (which we fed high-end expensive Raw frozen), goats milk for when she refused to drink water, ortho beds, months of expensive supplements she will need lifelong, harnesses, collars and leads, (which she bit through a half dozen until we changed her to a metal chain link lead), toys, allergy medication, vet visits for allergies and anything and everything she needed without question. In total close to $8 grand was spent on Trinity’s care over the 9 months she was in our care. Every blanket, toy, bed, raised cot, her favorite antlers, supplements, collars, harnesses, leads went with Trinity to her new home. Including every item that was donated to her during her stay at the hospitals.
As we stated, the overflow of generosity towards Trinity needing care, an excess of $17 grand via GoFund, enabled us to save the life of Kyla, who tragically was run over by a car and left to die. Leaving her right front leg to be amputated and her femur head in her back leg fractured in need of surgery. VSC performed that surgery, she then bi-weekly vet checks, laser, and water therapy, the purchase of equipment to aid her in walking due to a hematoma developing on her remaining front leg, the same supplements needed by Trinity for a lifetime, Raw frozen food diet, harnesses, leads, collars, blankets, etc, was provided to give her the best opportunity for recovery.
We appreciate everyone from the vet professionals, (Trinity was provided care at 6 different hospitals) their staffs, therapists, our volunteers, supporters, and Trinity’s family for opening their hearts to her.
And that is the long story of why we didn’t mention the operations being free of charge.
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What an amazing journey for everyone involved. Thank you so much for your caring and dedication and for the regular progress updates.
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Thanks so much for the update. I was glad to be a small part of her journey
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